Thanks for all the advice everyone. I'll probably take a few ideas from each of you and proceed accordingly.
Funny coincidence, while grocery shopping yesterday I turn the corner to frozen foods, an am face to face with him (his family also). I didn't bother even acknowledging him, neither the time nor place.
I am an exception, though, when it comes to the legal side of things. My younger brother is an attorney a few towns over, when he sees any signs of customers trying to mess around, he is more than happy to draft letters, etc. He saw me start th business with a little rusted Ford Ranger and a snowmobile trailer, and knows how hard I've worked at this, and even worked for me while in law school, so he takes it personally too.
The only drawback is that he is a know it ll little s==t and I have to listen to him with the "i told ya so's" at every Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner. Better than paying a lawyer, but brutal in it's own right. I'll usually just bring a load of mulch and trim an mulch his place in return, so it works out.
To answer our earlier question DVS, all you have to do in upstate NY is pay a $20 or so fee for a DBA at the county clerk's office, and you're a contractor. Not counting getting your FEIN etc. There are no licensing or certification requirements. Makes it easy for these type of guys to blow in, make a mess, and blow out.
And like you said, they always do.